Lumbar herniation L5/S1 with muscle weakness in legs
I have a central lumbar herniation at L5/S1. I had started developing severe muscle weakness in my legs, inability to heel walk with parasthesias in external genital area, left lateral foot and anterior left thigh. I went to my ortho who stated that I needed to have fusion surgery as I seem to be developing the beginnings of cauda equina syndrome according to him. This apparently is a small herniation but is causing stenosis, and some really bad symptoms. However the severe weakness in my legs seemed to relent somewhat and I am now able to stand and walk somewhat better. The paresthesias in the above mentioned areas are still there on and off all day everyday. The muscle weakness seems to have hit a plateau, it got somewhat better but is not getting completely better, it is at a standstill, some days are somewhat better and other days it feels like its getting worse, but has not gotten to the severe state that it was 3 weeks ago. I cancelled my surgery for the time being and am going to have a 2nd opinion.
My question is am I doing permanent nerve damage to myself by not having the nerves fully decompressed with surgery? I go to the chiropractor 2x/week for flexion/distraction which seems to help somewhat temporarily. Should I have surgery? and if so do I really need fusion surgery? Is it possible for the muscle weakness to relieve on its own?
I also have C5/C6, C6/C7 herniations which are finally doing nicely with 2 epidurals. I have DDD, cervical stenosis, and apparently lumbar stenosis from the herniation.
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